Flying P-Line

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Wi fohrt bi de Flying P-Line
Un Geld kriegt wo gorkein.
Un "Pamir" heet de Schleden,
Un von 'n Dübel ward he reeden.
De Kaptein is de Dübel,
Un de Erste dat Übel.

2. Lustig ist die Reederei,
Sie verdient viel Geld dabei.
Ist der Kasten noch so alt,
Wird er wieder angemalt.

3. Nach dem Süden fährt das Schiff,
Verpoviantiert nach altem Kniff.
Salzspeck ist zehn Jahre alt,
Das Hartbrot, das vermodert bald.

4. Eines Tages: Wum bum bum,
Fällt der ganze Kasten um.
Dies geschah nicht weit vom Strand,
Was sich nennt Kanakenland.

5. Kanake dort im Busch rumort:
Der deutsche Seemann wird geschmort,
Doch haben so wir nicht gewettet,
Die ganze Mannschaft ward gerettet.

6. Sie schiffte sich nach Hamburg ein
Und schlug dem Reeder die Fenster klein.
Drum holder Jüngling, merk dir das:
Seemannsleben ist kein Spaß.


Reederei F. Laeisz, "The Flying P-line", was founded by Ferdinand Laeisz, born in 1801 in Hamburg. His first ship was the brig Carl, built by J. Meyer for Laeisz in 1839. It was named after Ferdinand's son Carl Ferdinand. When Carl started to help his father with the business in 1852, more ships were built and the shipping company grew quickly. In 1862 a barque was ordered and delivered from Stülcken shipyard. It was named the Pudel, because Carl's wife Sophie was called Pudel amongst family members. After that all new ships that were built for Laeisz got a name starting with the letter P, thus the nickname The Flying P-line. After 1880 also ships that were bought second-hand were given a name starting with the letter P.

Carl Laeisz put his ships on the South American nitrate trade.

Meine Schiffe können und sollen schnelle Reisen machen (My ships can and shall make fast voyages), Carl Laeisz said. And his ships were indeed fast, strong, and very well equipped.

In 1912 Carl's sons Herbert Ferdinand and Erich Ferdinand took over the company, but Herbert was a victim of the first World War, so between the wars Erich ran the company by himself. He died shortly after World War II.

Most of the ships that Laeisz ordered were built by Blohm & Voss in Hamburg, and a great number also by Tecklenborg, Geestemünde. The most famous of the P-liners, as the ships were called, are their only five-masted barque, the Potosi, their tremendous five-masted full-rigged ship, the Preussen, and finally the last ships they ordered; the eight sister ships. These ships have been called the greatest sailing ships ever built, and the ultimate cargo carriers under sail. They were built for the tough voyage around Cape Horn westwards.

According to this, the shanty in question cannot be older than about 150 years.

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